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SAN DIEGO, Nov. 10, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- eFFECTOR Therapeutics, Inc., a leader in the development of selective translation regulators (STRs) for the treatment of cancer, today announced a poster presentation of preclinical data for its lead product candidate, eFT508, that defines its immunological mechanism of action and activation of anti-tumor immune response. In vitro and in vivo preclinical models demonstrate eFT508 selectively downregulates key immune checkpoint proteins without compromising T cell activation or viability. These data are being presented at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) 32nd annual meeting being held in National Harbor, Maryland on November 10-12, 2017. The poster (#368) is titled “eFT508, a potent and highly selective inhibitor of MNK1 and MNK2, is an activator of anti-tumor immune response”.
“These data highlight the potential of eFT508 to induce an anti-tumor immune response and enhance response to immune checkpoint inhibitors,” said Kevin Webster, Ph.D., senior vice president, cancer biology, eFFECTOR Therapeutics. “We are currently conducting a Phase 2 clinical trial of eFT508 as a single agent and in combination with avelumab in patients with microsatellite stable colorectal cancer, under a clinical collaboration and supply agreement between eFFECTOR and a global strategic alliance of Pfizer and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. We are also completing our initial Phase 1 clinical development activities targeting solid tumors, and lymphoma and anticipate initiating additional Phase 2 development activity in 2018.”
In addition, the presentation will highlight that eFT508 has a favorable impact on multiple steps in the cancer immune response including activating antigen presenting cells, expanding memory T cells and enhancing cytotoxic T cell function. eFT508 additionally showed substantial anti-tumor activity mediated through tumor infiltrating lymphocytes in multiple tumor models including genetically engineered mouse models of non-small cell lung cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma.
eFT508 is a selective translation regulator and is part of a new class of cancer treatments known as immunotherapies that are designed to harness the body’s own immune system in fighting cancer. eFT508 is a highly potent and selective, oral inhibitor of MNK1 and MNK2. MNK1/2 are terminal kinases in key oncogenic signaling pathways, including KRAS-BRAF-MEK-ERK, and are activated by the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) in multiple immune cell types. MNK1 and MNK2 integrate MAPK pathway signaling at the level of mRNA translation, resulting in decreased anti-tumor immune activity due to selective upregulation of several immune checkpoint receptors and specific immunosuppressive cytokines. eFT508 selectively blocks MNK1/2 driven mRNA translation, thereby promoting anti-tumor immune response. eFT508 is currently being evaluated in a Phase 2 clinical trial in patients with microsatellite stable colorectal cancer (NCT03258398), in a dose escalation study in patients with advanced solid tumors (NCT02605083) and dose escalation and cohort expansion study in patients with advanced lymphomas (NCT02937675).
About eFFECTOR Therapeutics
eFFECTOR Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering the discovery and development of selective translation regulators as a new class of small molecule therapeutics for cancer. The company’s investigational compounds are designed to restore translational control to halt underlying disease mechanisms while preserving healthy physiological processes. eFFECTOR’s most advanced program focuses on the development of eFT508. The company has additional selective translation regulator programs currently in discovery and development and maintains global rights to all of its development programs. For more information visit www.effector.com.
Robert H. Uhl
Heidi Chokeir, Ph.D.
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